Thursday, May 28, 2009

Three Billion Doesn't Get You Much

We give the small nation of Israel three billion a year, plus lots of other extras. You would think that would get you some pull.

Apparently not.

Israel has rejected a call by the United States for a total freeze on settlement expansion in the occupied territories.

Israel said construction in Jewish settlements will continue despite U.S. pressure. President Barack Obama began pressing the settlement issue at a White House summit last week with Israel's hawkish new Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And on Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed growing impatience with the Jewish state.

"With respect to settlements, the president was very clear when Prime Minister Netanyahu was here," Clinton said. "He wants to see a stop to settlements - not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions."

The settlements are neither ethical nor are they in the US interest.

Is that Chutzpah, or what?

Congressman Ackerman on Natural Growth

The settlements in Israel create great conflict between the East and the West, and between the US and Arab nations in particular. They are not a source of good and the official US policy is that they should be stopped.

However, Congressman Gary Ackerman thinks the are "natural growth" and need not be stopped.

Internal growth is not an obstacle — it is life,” said the congressman, Gary Ackerman (D-L.I.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia. “There is no moral equivalence between settlements and terrorist activity,” he said by phone shortly after leaving a 90-minute meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv. “Bibi mentioned settlements,” Ackerman continued, using Netanyahu’s nickname. “He pointed out that unlike previous administrations that said they would not build them but built them, he is not building new settlements. But he has a position that you cannot stop people on the issue of internal growth.”

Should the US naturally grow in to Mexico or Canada? Would we not expect conflict to result?

Does Congressman Ackerman have US interests in mind when he makes such statements?

There is more interesting stuff here:

[This] position is NOT surprising especially when you come to find out [Ackerman] is not only the United States House Chairman on Middle East and South Asia foreign affairs but Ackerman is also President of the International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians, making sure that influential Jews within governments all over the world can coordinate and push for Israel's position on 'all' policy matters[.]

"Arik Puder, the spokesman for ICJP Israel -- ICJP "...goal is to put together parliamentarians from all over the world in order for them to cooperate with one another and promote Jewish issues/AGENDAS in their respective countries...""

You couldn't make it up if you wanted to.



Holy Land Foundation Sentencing

This trial has been an increadable miscarrage of justice from the start, and it has just gotten much worse.

To summarize, the first trial ended in a mistrial (which is amazing considering the paranoid climate at the time). A retrial that involved the use of non-public Israeli testimony resulted in a conviction resulting in a conviction.

The sentencing was handed down recently and the worst was a 64 year jail term! This is shocking for a case that was obviously very weak from the start.

This is the Zionification of the American justice system.

Money quote (from British source)

As grounds for an expected appeal, lawyers for the men are expected to challenge testimony given by an anonymous Israeli government agent, whose evidence was kept secret from the defence.


Israeli Values Not Western Values

The Israeli Knesset is considering a set of laws that, to say the least, are very anti-western and completely contrary to the US understanding of freedom of speech.

First we have:

"a bill that would institute a one year jail sentence for anyone who speaks "against Israel's existence as a Jewish and democratic state."

Well, would we allow someone to speak against the US being a Christian state? You bet we would. In fact, many (including many Jewish organizations) would more likely prohibit discussion of the US as a Christian state.

Second we have:

a bill spearheaded by Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu party to outlaw public commemoration of the Nakba in Israel can move on to the Knesset and cabinet for a vote. If the bill is passed, someone caught commemorating the Nakba could face up to three years in prison.

So, could Germany ban discussion of the Holocaust because it was unpleasant for them to hear about it? Again, the opposite is more likely.

Finally, we have the loyalty oath bill:

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu party plans to propose controversial legislation requiring citizens to swear loyalty to the state, a party spokesman said on Monday.

The party intends to seek cabinet approval for the bill before presenting it to the Knesset where it would have to pass three votes and a committee review before taking effect, according to the spokesman.

The proposal was a key part of Yisrael Beiteinu's campaign in February's general election, in which it grew to Israel's third largest political party.

How would Jewish groups in America react to a bill demanding they swear loyalty to the US over all other foreign nations including Israel? Outrage would just begin to describe it.

So, again we have a big difference between the way7 Israel acts and the Western values we have here in the US. Also, we have a big difference between the conduct supported or condemned by Jewish organizations here when compared to the reaction when Israel seeks to undertake such conduct.




Friday, May 22, 2009

Quick Hits

Has David Singer of the NYT become the next Judith Miller?

David Sanger continues his stellar work of conveying Israeli propaganda about a non-existent Syrian nuclear program by conveying Israeli propaganda about an non-existent Iranian nuclear program, using the purest Judy Miller style - note the use of the telltale 'outside experts' and 'administration officials', i. e., Dennis Ross - made so infamous by the New York Times ...

Did Bibi box Obama into taking action on Iran? From Amconmag:

In return for Bibi’s willingness to talk to the Palestinians, Obama agreed to a December deadline for progress in talks with Iran. If the talks are not fruitful by then, America will step on the escalator.

“I’ve been very clear that I don’t take any options off the table with respect to Iran,” said the president.

Bibi got what he came for.

By setting a six-month deadline, Obama has given an incentive to Israel, AIPAC, the neocons, and even al-Qaeda, which wants Shia Iran bombed back to the stone age, to provoke collisions with Iran, until December, then demand that Obama keep his word, suspend talks, impose severe sanctions and start us on the escalator to war.

More discussion here.

In other news, super AIPAC devotee Jane Harman called for ethhnic division of Iran and then retracts s reported here.

NIAC is reporting that Rep. Jane Harman has retracted and apologized for her comments advocating that Iran be divided up by ethnicity. Harman claims she her comments were "taken out of context." Judge for yourself (begins around 1:25):

News of Note